Recently a couple of Christian bloggers tried to make the case that date nights, while providing time for intimacy and togetherness for couples are simply not something that can be construed as essential for a marriage to survive or for its overall health. Instead, a husband and wife should focus more on the day by day activities, finding strength in the daily grind if you will.
As I have contemplated that approach and reflected on my own marriage, I humbly submit there are some aspects to those suggestions to which I find some level of agreement. With that said, I think we need to be careful not to paint too broad a brush that marriages can do just fine without dedicated and yes even scheduled time away from the aforementioned daily grind is a point I find is incorrect, regardless of whether one has children at home or not.
Now every marriage has its own unique pair of individuals with their own unique set of emotional and relationship needs. For some couples, sparks of love can certainly be found in the daily functions of life. However, for many couples I run into and have conversations with, those special moments of being able to get away and spend time alone are precious.
Time alone does not have to be reserved simply for that one day a year when couples celebrate their anniversary. I would be surprised if there are women in particular who would settle for a one time per year celebration and remembrance of wedded bliss. I know my wife craves time together, those special moments when it is just us two. As a busy couple engaged in a number of weekly activities both at work and at home plus being homeschooling parents, there are times when quite frankly we need to schedule time alone. This means a call to the grandparents with a request to have our daughter over for the weekend. When those special moments and that time of restful togetherness takes place away from the daily grind, it is a recharge to the batteries, a rekindling of the flame.
Can a marriage survive without a “date night”? Most certainly. Marriages can survive but is survival of the marriage what it is all about or should we be pursuing something more with our spouse? Date nights need not be expensive endeavors by the way so if that is a concern it need not be one. A simple walk around the neighborhood or a trip to the local movie rental counter to watch a favorite flick with some popcorn is often sufficient. Sometimes a spontaneous date night is appropriate. The element of surprise can go a long way. The point is time away with your spouse during which you can focus on each other in a way that simply cannot be accomplished while doing dishes or the laundry.
Those tempted to forego date nights might want to reconsider taking that approach. This is not to say that romance in a marriage can only be found on that special occasions. Love between a husband and a wife is certainly tested and found to be on solid ground in the day to day moments of life. I firmly believe the day to day and the date night are both needed for marriages, a requirement to keep the spark kindled, and should be a staple of the marriage relationship. This is not meant to try and escape from those noisy bratty kids for a night so you can go to be early and catch up on lost sleep. Time away from the kids is needed – trust me. A date night is quite simply a wonderful way to spend time with your spouse. Don’t neglect it as unimportant or a chore.